Mark T. Skinner West School

Week 1 (2014-2015)
Week At A Glance
August 28th - September 4th


Skinner Banner 2011

Weekly Update 

Thursday, August 28

Pre - K Orientation
Skinner Branch


New Student / Parent Orientation (Gd. 1-8)
Main Building 
2:00- 3:00 pm

 Kindergarten Orientation
Main Building 
4:00- 5:30 pm


Monday, September 1st


Labor Day - No School


Tuesday, September 2nd 

First Day of School 
8:45am - 3:45pm

Star Program After School Kickoff 
3:45 -6:30pm


Skinner West School Calendar

CPS School Calendar
2014 -2015



Neighborhood News
What's Happening in the West Loop?  Visit the 
Did you miss last week's Week-At-A-Glance e-newsletter? Click here to catch up on a must-read!


Does your Superstar have an accomplishment or honorable mention you would like to submit to the newsletter?  

Reply to this email or email us 





Are you supporting Skinner through these NO additional cost fundraisers?

SUPPORT OUR SCHOOL and Share this with Family and Friends! 




Box Tops/ Labels for Education
Collect everyday labels from groceries to earn points and funds for our school library


Visit to designate your eScrip accounts to Mark T. Skinner. A percentage of your purchases go to the school. However, you must renew your e-Scrip annually. Look out for special bonus days too!


1% goes to Skinner on ALL purchases made with Target Card (additional 5% all purchases for you!)
Designate Skinner Classical as your school





5% of purchases go to Mark T. Skinner Classical School (Code A5BY) 







Please submit pictures from any Skinner West events (concerts, parties, presentations etc) to
 We prefer .jpg or .gif files of up to 350kb. 
Thank you!





TopClick on the link to advance to the article you wish to read! 
 New Articles 

      forgetDon't Forget! 

The first day of school is Tuesday, September 2nd!  School hours are 8:45am - 3:45pm.  See you then!
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      rosterClass Roster  

Classroom assignments and teacher rosters are below.

Ms. Candice GroweKDG.118
Mr. Jeff MerkinKDG. Branch401
Ms. Stacey SobutKDG. Branch402
Ms. Sarah SauerKDG. Branch403
Ms. Mary Beth O'Connor1123
Mrs. Amy Sittner1120
Ms. Sarah Lohman1119
Ms. Kara Martin1121
Mrs. Joanna Salameda1116
Mrs. Melissa Beaudry2217
Mrs. Megan Rupp2219
Ms. Katie Schwartz2221
Ms. Adrienne Ward2222
Mrs. Jennifer Christiansen3218
Ms. Yasmin Dalal3216
Mrs. Jenna Fisher3214
Mrs. Ashley Oluewu3212
Mr. Chansorith Chau4316
Mr. Desmond Cox4312
Ms. Julie Carlson4220
Ms. Stephanie Travis4124
Mr. Kevin Lewandowski5318
Mrs. Sharon Rosenzweig5314
Ms. Latasha Stone5223
Mr. Brandon Batchelor6319
Mr. Jared Lee6321
Ms. Yamini Ramakrishnan6317
Mr. Connor Fitzsimmons7323
Ms. Donna McSpadden7322
Ms. Vickie Mellos8320
Mrs. Halyna Sendoun8326
Ms. Shannon O'BrienSpec. Ed Primary114
Mrs. Jennifer HillSpec. Ed Upper313
Mr. Ramel WernerSpec. Ed Resource211
Ms. Teresa LunaSpec. Ed/Case Manager110
Ms. Bridget MontgomeryCounselor110
Mrs. Stacey ThorneScience226
Mrs. Kori MilroyScience226
Ms. Mary Lisa MaatoukMusic311
Ms. Kelly RanftlLibrary300
Mr. Alejandro AlvizuriSpanish301
Ms. Maria HernandezSpanish301
Ms. Magdalena SandovalSpanish2nd Fl Ldg.
Ms. Jean KongMandarin3rd Fl Ldg.
Mr. Ryan JohnsonPhys. EdGym
Ms. Joy WestendorfPhys. EdGym
Ms. Jacqueline BovitArt201
Ms. Elizabeth WardanianResource Support211
Mr. Matthew BaronELL2nd Fl Ldg.

See you on Tuesday!!
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Transportation Updates 

Any child needing bus transportation from CPS must complete an Application for School Bus Service.


Please obtain a form from the school office. Do not send or fax any forms directly to Bureau of Student Transportation. Completed forms must be returned to the school office. If you have questions about your student's eligibility for transportation, please contact the school office for additional information concerning bus service.  All student transportation eligibility standards, forms, policies and procedures are available at the school office, on the Skinner West web site or on the CPS web site at this link.    


The following bus companies currently service Skinner West.  Contact them directly for information regarding estimated pick up and drop off times for your neighborhood school.


Alltown 773-248-0090

Falcon 773-638-8000

Illinois State 773-638-3660

Latino Express 773-254-5545 

Sunrise 773-224-8050

United Quick 773-522-1995 

Faculty Updates

We've have a few changes to our faculty this year, so wanted to keep you up-to-date!


Congratulations to Mrs. Ashley Oluewu (4th, previously Howlett) and Mrs. Stacey Thorne (Science, previously Ellis); Both were married this summer!

Congratulations to Ms.Sarah Lohmann (1st grade) on the birth of her baby!


Congratulations and WELCOME to our new faculty to the Skinner West Family! 

Ms. Melaan Johnson, Resident Principal*

Mr Matthew Baron, ELL

Ms. Kara Martin, 1st

Ms. Katie Schwartz, 2nd

Ms Adrienne Ward, 2nd

Ms. Stephanie Travis, 4th

Mr. Brandon Batchelor, 6th


We plan to update our website and newsletter with pictures and profiles, so stay tuned for more!


Finally, we fond farewells and thank yous to:

Ms. Montenegro

Ms. Stevens


*What is a resident principal?  Resident Principals are aspiring principal candidates in a year-long internship who are mentored by high-performing principals in the District for a full school year. This experience provides our aspiring principals with hands-on, real-world experience designed to help them prepare to enter a school ready to lead that school toward success from day one and to become proficient in the CPS Principal Competencies:


-Creating powerful professional learning systems that guarantee exceptional teaching and learning for students

-Championing teacher excellence through a focus on continuous improvement

-Establishing, nurturing and protecting a culture driven by college and career readiness

-Empowering and motivating families and community to become engaged

-Relentlessly pursuing self-disciplined thinking and actions

- Leads the school towards achieving the vision     


Please join us in congratulating our Skinner family!

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Volunteer Brochure

Skinner West has many volunteer opportunities available.  Check out the 2014-2015 volunteer brochure here and find out how you can get involved with your child's school



Free Lunch for All


CPS is offering free lunch to all Skinner West Students.  Click here to read more about this new program.  Lunch menus can be found here.
Introducing the Virtual Backpack

Skinner West communications are often sent home with our students and families on paper. The Virtual Backpack will provide parents with online access to these communication and flyers that have been sent home. 
This is an "eco-friendly" approach to distributing information and supports the school's educational goals and mission of being environmentally conscious. We intentionally try to include most flyers in our weekly newsletter communications as well, but this site will be a centralized source of this information. Please check the site regularly to find announcements that are sent home with your child.
Access the Virtual Backpack site by from the Skinner West homepage and clicking on the icon.  HINT: it looks exactly like the image above. 
We hope you find this a helpful way to stay in touch!
boxtop     Summer Box Top Challenge

Skinner has raised over $3000 through box top donations.  Don't forget to save your boxtops over the summer!  Use this handy sheet to save your tops.  See how many you can collect!  Please return to Mrs. Rantfl in the fall.
 summer reading  
readSummer Reading Program 
Earn a Free Book this Summer

Encourage your kids to read this summer and reward them with a free book! Barnes & Noble has kicked off their Annual Summer Reading Program "Imagination's Destination." 
Step 1: Read any 8 books and record them in the READING JOURNAL.
Step 2: Bring the completed Reading Journal to your local Barnes &  Nobel store.
Step 3: Choose a FREE BOOK from our selection on the Reading Journal list at the store... Enjoy reading!
For more information about this program and to obtain an free summer reading kit for parents visit:
Repeat News and Updates


Do you have questions or concerns about the Skinner West school community?


You can email Mrs. Clark directly!  




Parking Procedures & Reminders 


We want to make school drop-off/pick-up safe and convenient for everyone.  In order to do this, please follow these guidelines.  It will also save you from an expensive tow!


Please click here and read our procedures!


If you are interested in volunteering for morning/afternoon drop-off and pick-up, email the volunteer coordinator at We really need morning help!  Thank you.  

supply     School Supplies & Fees

Updated school supply lists can be found here.  We'll be providing you with updated fee schedules soon.

handbook Student Handbook

The 2014-15 student handbook can be found here!
KDGNew Kindergartner? 
Get important notes and information about kindergarten by accessing the Kindergarten Parent Checklist.

Are you a new parent with questions?  Send an email to and title it, "New Parent Question."  Parent volunteers will attempt to help answer your questions. We'll try to get back to you within 24 hours, but your patience is appreciated.



PEReminder: PE Uniforms  


Physical Education class schedules will be available soon!   


PE Uniforms are MANDATORY for all students. Students in grades K-5 must wear their PE uniform to school on their designated PE day(s). Upper grade students (grades 6-8) are allowed to change into their PE uniforms in the first 5 minutes of their PE class time, but must change back into their clothes on their own time.


Skinner PE uniforms are available through Lands End at the following link:  Click on 'Find my School.' Clothing purchased with our logo is acceptable for PE class.  PE Uniforms need to be in Skinner school colors, either all purple or purple/gold, or they can be CPS uniform colors of navy blue and white.  


If you have any questions about the PE Uniform or the school policy, please contact your child's PE teacher: Mr. Johnson (K, 1, 5-8th grades) at or Ms. Westendorf (K, 1,2-4) at



roomRoom Parents Needed!

We need volunteers for each classroom from K- 8th grade and for ancillary classes:  library, art, science and foreign language.   


The following teachers still need room parents: 
Ms. O'Connor - Grade 1
Ms. Lohman - Grade 1
Ms. Dilal - Grade 3
Ms. Fisher - Grade 3
Mr. Chau - Grade 4
Mr. Carlson - Grade 4
Ms. Travis - Grade 4
Mr. Lewandowski - Grade 5
Ms. Stone - Grade 5
Mr. Lee - Grade 6
Mr. Fitzsimmons - Grade 7
Ms. McSpadden - Grade 7
Ms. Mellos - Grade 8
Ms. O'Brian - Special Ed
Mr. Werner - Special Ed

If you're interested in being a room parent or co-parent coordinator, contact Kavita Rao to apply.  

KarateAfterschool Karate

Afterschool Karate is happening this fall!  Classes run Mondays and Wednesdays from 9/9-1/28/14 and will be led by Master JP Nettles from 4K Karate.  Click here for more information. 


Visit our website at

for more information about what's happening in school.
 All comments, suggestions or requests to submit information

to this newsletter should be emailed to

 Deborah M. Clark